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Archive for November, 2016

Winter Safety

Gribbins Insulation - Toolbox Talk

With the possibility of slick conditions during winter months due to snow and ice, employees must take extra precautions while working, walking and driving.

If possible snow and ice should be removed in walking or working areas prior to employees entering.  If removal is not possible, the following precaution should be taken while walking or working in slick conditions:

  • Always use hand rails and plant your feet firmly while climbing stairs.
  • Bend your knees and take short steps and walk at a slower pace.
  • Avoid placing hands in pockets or carrying heavy loads to increase balance.
  • Be prepared for a fall and try to avoid using hands or arms to break your fall.
  • Wear boots, overshoe with slip resistant soles or cleats.  Boots that have smooth surfaces will increase the risk of slipping.
  • Remove as much snow and water from your boot as possible before entering buildings.
  • Use extra caution when entering and exiting vehicles always have a secure grip on the vehicle.
  • Use retractable lanyards when climbing ladders due to slick conditions.

Driving during slick conditions also greatly increases the risk of vehicle accidents.  The following are a list of precaution to follow while driving in slick conditions:

  • Allow sufficient time to get to your destination.  Accelerating, stopping and turning all take longer on snow cover roads than they do on dry pavement.
  • Stay alert and always wear your seat belt.
  • Stay calm, maintain a safe speed and drive defensively.
  • Maintain a safe distance between you and other vehicles.  It is recommended that you should obey the “4 second rule” or longer during slick conditions.
  • Make sure your car is in good working order.  This includes good tire tread, engine tune up, lights working properly, clean windows and sufficient windshield wiper fluid.
  • Plan moves carefully.  Never jam on your brakes, instead pump your brakes slightly a few times.  Acceleration, turning, passing also present increased hazards.
  • Be aware of conditions that could lead to “black ice” since it is almost invisible.  “Black ice” usually occurs due to snow melting and re-freezing.  Pavement that may be covered in “black ice” may look dry but appear darker in color and dull looking.
  • Be extra cautious on bridges, overpasses and infrequently traveled road because they will be the first ones to freeze.
  • Watch out for snow plows and sand truck and do not try to pass them.
  • If you get stuck do not spin your wheels.  Try to turn the wheels side to side to remove the snow around them.  Then lightly touch the gas to ease the car out.  If this doesn’t work try to shovel around the wheels or pour sand, gravel or salt around the wheels.

Hand and Power Tools Safety

Hand and power tools are something we use on a daily basis and sometimes take for granted, but can cause serious injury if the proper procedures are not followed.  The following are a list of recommended procedures to follow:

Hand and Power Tools

  • Always follow the manufacturer’s recommendation.
  • Use the tool only for its intended use.
  • Maintain and store the tools properly.
  • Never point tools at other employees.
  • Hand tools to other employees. NEVER THROW TOOLS.
  • Secure tools when working at elevated heights.
  • Always cut away from you body, if possible.
  • Make sure you have a firm footing and a good grip before using tools.
  • Wooden handles that are loose, cracked, or splintered shall be replaced.
  • Hand tools for placing and removing materials shall be such as to permit easy handling of material without the operator placing a hand in the danger zone.
  • Any fan with the periphery of the blades less than 7 ft above the floor or working level, the blades shall be guarded.  The guards shall have openings no larger than ½ inch.
  • Machines that are designed for a fixed location shall be securely anchored to prevent walking or moving.
  • Each tool shall be looked at before and during use to determine what PPE is necessary for that tool.


  • Tools designed to have guards, shall be equipped with guards while in use.
  • All reciprocating, rotating, or moving parts of equipment shall be guarded if they expose a hazard.
  • Methods of machine guarding shall be provided to protect the operator and other employees in the area from hazards associated with the point of operation, rotating parts, flying chips, or sparks, etc.  Examples of guarding would be barrier guards, two hand tripping devices, electronic safety devices, etc.
  • Point of operation is the area of the machine where work is actually performed upon the material being processed.  Any of these points that expose employees to hazards shall be guarded.
  • Power saws, portable power tools, guillotine cutters, shears, powered presses are all examples of machines which require point of operation guarding.
  • Safety guards of the types where the operator stands in front of the opening, shall be constructed so that the peripheral protecting member can be adjusted to the constantly decreasing diameter of the wheel.  The maximum angular exposure above the horizontal plane of the wheel spindle.


  • Any hand or power tool shall be inspected prior to daily use for any defects.
  • Any equipment that is found to be defective shall be red tag and removed from service.
  • Tools shall not be returned to service unless repaired by a qualified repairman.
  • Electrical equipment shall be double insulated or grounded in accordance with subpart K.
  • All temporary lighting must have cage guards over them to prevent breakage of the bulbs and shall be hung by its insulator.
  • Extension cords shall be run so they do not run through doorways, walkways, windows, roads, unless they are protected.
  • Ground-Fault Circuit Interrupters (GFCIs) shall be used at all times with electrical equipment and power tools.  They shall be tested on a monthly basis.



Defensive Driving

Safe driving is important on and off the clock. When driving a vehicle, there are many hazards that we face – some created by the person driving and some created by others.

The following is a list of defensive driving tips to follow:

  • Always wear your seat belt.
  • Adjust your seat and mirrors before driving.
  • Secure all loose objects before driving.  If you are involved in an accident or have to make a quick maneuver objects can become airborne.
  • Maintain concentration on driving, rather than work or personal issues. Be aware of your own action as well as actions of other drivers, pedestrians or wildlife.
  • Do not use cell phones for talking, texting or e-mailing while driving.
  • If possible, plan your travel route before leaving.
  • Always keep a safe stopping distance between you and the car in front of you. Use at least the four second rule between you and the car in front.  This leaves you enough room to react and stop your vehicle.
  • Be aware of blind spots when changing lanes.  Look in all direction and always use your turn signals.
  • Always follow the speed limits.  In wet, icy or slick conditions, slow down and take your time.
  • Know and obey all traffic rules, regulations and laws.  If you are unfamiliar with the area, slow down and take your time.
  • Do not drink and drive.  Always assign a designated driver.
  • Keep a cool head.  Do not drive aggressively and don’t take chances.
  • When confronted by aggressive drivers, avoid eye contact, stay calm, try to get out of the way safely, and do not escalate the situation.  If you are being followed by a threatening driver, do not stop, and proceed to the closest police station.
  • Pay special attention when driving in work zones.  These zones create extra hazards with people working, decreased lane widths, frequent stops and alternate routes.
  • Do not drive when drowsy or tired.  Symptoms of fatigue include eyes closing or going out of focus, trouble keeping your head up, cannot stop yawning, trouble remembering driving the last few miles, drifting between lanes.
  • Inspect your vehicle before each use to ensure it is in good working order.  Make sure the brakes do not pull to one side, there is not too much play in the steering wheel, no whining noise when you make a sharp turn, all lights are in good condition and working, tires are inflated properly and in good condition, windows are clean and clear and your horn works.
  • During rain, sleet, or snow, make sure to slow down, take your time, and be cautious.
  • When backing a vehicle, use a spotter if you do not have a clear path of travel and a good line of sight.

Aerial Lift Training

Gribbins Insulation - Toolbox Talk

Aerial lifts are an important piece of equipment we use on a daily basis, but can become an extreme hazard if proper procedures are not followed.  The main causes of injuries from aerial lifts are electrocutions, falls, tip-overs, caught between and struck by.  It is imperative that employees abide by the following safety rules when using aerial lifts to prevent being injured.


  • These machines are not electrically insulated and will not provide protection from contact with or proximity to electrical current.  Maintain a clearance of at least 10 ft. between any part of the machine and its occupants, their tools, and their equipment from any electrical line or apparatus carrying up to 50,000 volts.  One foot additional clearance is required for every additional 30,000 volts or less.  Allow for machine movement and electrical line swaying or sagging.
  • Occupants must wear a full body harness with a lanyard attached to an authorized anchor point.  Guardrails are not approved anchor points.  Before operating the machine, make sure all gates and chains are closed and fastened in their proper position.
  • Maintain firm footing on the platform at all times.  Do not use ladder, boxes, steps, planks, guardrails or similar items to provide additional reach.
  • Do not raise the platform or drive the machine with the boom extended or raised unless on a firm, level and smooth surface.  Never exceed the allowable side slope or grade while driving.  Do not use on moving surface or vehicle.
  • Do not exceed the maximum platform capacity.  Distribute loads evenly on platform floor.  See model operation manual for actual capacity rating.  Do not push or pull any object with the boom.  Never attempt to use the machine as a crane or attach overhanging loads.  Do not tie off machines to any adjacent structure.
  • Inspect work area for clearances overhead, on sides and bottom of platform and lift base when lifting or lowering platform and driving.  During operation, keep all body parts inside platform guardrails.
  • Keep non-operating personnel at least 6 ft. away from the machine during all driving and swing operations.
  • Use extreme caution when entering and exiting the lift.  Face the machine and use three points of contact.  Always exit through the designated anchor point.  Do not climb over guardrails.
  • Keep the base of the lift at least 2 ft. from holes, bumps, drop offs, obstructions, debris and other potential hazards on the floor or surface.
  • Do not operate the machine in strong or gusty winds, JLG states not to operate in wind above 28 MPH.
  • Do not increase the surface area of the platform or the load.  Increase of the area exposed to the wind will decrease stability.
  • Only two employees are allowed in a lift at one time.  Only one person may operate the machine at a time.
  • Use the boom functions, not the drive function, to position the platform close to obstacles.
  • Be aware of stopping distances while driving or maneuvering.  Do not operate quickly in restricted or tight areas or when operating in reverse.  Use extreme caution at all times to prevent obstacles from striking or interfering with operating controls and persons in the platform.
  • Use a spotter when driving in areas where vision is obstructed.  Always warn personnel not to work, stand or walk under a raised boom or platform.  Barricades may be required to achieve this.
  • Limit travel speed according to conditions of ground surface, congestion, visibility, slope, location of personnel, and other factors which may cause collision or injury to personnel.
  • Do not alter or disable machine components that in any way affect safety or stability.
  • Always inspect and document a lift inspection before work begins.  If lift is not working properly, do not use, red tag and inform your supervisor.





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